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Venture-backed M&A, IPO activity down in 2015 Q1

There were on 17 venture-backed initial public offerings in the first quarter of 2015, a 54 percent drop from the first quarter of 2014, according to en exit poll.

The poll from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association showed the first time since the first quarter of 2013 that fewer than 20 venture-backed IPOs launched since the first quarter of 2013.

In dollars, the 17 IPOs raised $1.4 billion, a 58 percent drop from the first quarter of 2014.

“With such a blistering pace for venture-backed exit activity in 2014, it was only a matter of time before we saw a drop in activity,” said Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the venture association. “Despite the decline in venture-backed IPOs for the quarter, a lot of promising young companies made their debut on the public markets with many more waiting in the wings.”

Venture-backed mergers and acquisitions dropped as well in the first quarter. The 86 deals fell sharply from the 115 deals in the first quarter of 2014, and the 16 deals with disclosed values of about $2.1 billion dropped from the 31 deals with disclosed values of about $7.6 billion.

In 2014, there were 116 IPOs, the highest in five years.

U.S. venture capital firms raised about $7 billion from 61 funds, according to the survey, down from more than $10 billion from 71 funds in the first quarter of 2014. The 2014 first quarter was the first time since 2007 that fundraising commitments surpassed $10 billion since 2007.

Fundraising declined every quarter after that, falling to $5.8 billion in the fourth quarter before rebounding in the latest quarter.

“While not the strongest fundraising period by any measure, we are confident investors will continue to renew their commitment to innovation by investing in venture capital,” Franklin said.

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